If you use an Apple device and have noticed an increase in suspicious emails, you’re not imagining things. A report from cybersecurity company CYREN says Apple users have increasingly become scam targets, noting a 246% increase in phishing sites aimed at Apple users from first quarter 2014 to third quarter 2014.
Phishing includes emails, social media posts and websites that imitate those created by familiar companies, people and service providers — the idea is to appear legitimate and trick you into sharing information that can be used to steal your identity, access your accounts or infect your device with malware.
Cybersecurity threats often spawn others. For example, when Apple started an email alert system after the iCloud breach and ensuing nude-celebrity-photos scandal, scammers had the opportunity to target Apple users with their own versions of security email. CYREN’s report said 7,000 new Apple-related phishing sites surfaced in the same week of the celebrity photo leak.
Apparently, you’re more likely to fall for a phishing scam when you’re on a smartphone as opposed to a laptop, according to a news release about CYREN’s report, because it’s harder to see signs like fake links, misspellings and logo errors on smaller screens. (Perhaps the massive display on the iPhone 6 Plus will help users spot scams.)
No matter what technology you use, you’re a scam target. The sooner you come to terms with that reality, the better you can protect yourself from becoming a victim. We may be beyond the days of fighting pop-up ads as if it were a video game, but it’s perhaps more important than ever to protect your devices with anti-virus software.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but look carefully at emails and messages before clicking on any links they include, because a careless click can turn into a costly, time-consuming process of recovering from fraud or identity theft. You can’t control others’ efforts to steal, but you can reduce your risk by monitoring your accounts for hacking and unauthorized use. If someone gets a hold of and uses your personally identifiable information or credit card number, you may see a sudden change in your credit scores or unfamiliar data on your credit reports. By checking your credit scores regularly, which you can do for free on Credit.com, you will be able to quickly spot, stop and repair damage caused by fraud.
More on Identity Theft:
- Identity Theft: What You Need to Know
- How Do I Dispute an Error on My Credit Report?
- How Credit Impacts Your Day-to-Day Life